Claudia and I have been hanging out in the city of Mendoza, Argentina this week. It’s a beautiful city; every street is lined with tall trees that arch over the streets and sidewalks, providing shade in this otherwise hot and sunny region.
We haven’t been doing much so far – just walking around a lot, getting the hang of how things work around here, trying to find information about the mountains, and drinking our fair share of Malbec! We haven’t yet done any winery tours, but we’ve found a great little wine tasting bar in Mendoza where we’ll surely be spending some more time.
Mendoza has a really nice layout, with the large Plaza Independencia in the center of town, and four smaller plazas a few blocks from each corner. There seems to always be a nice plaza nearby to relax in! My only gripe about the town is the constant traffic – there’s a steady stream of cars zooming around at all hours of the day and night. There’s one pedestrian street through the center of town, with lots of cafes and shops. If I were king I would make four or five of the streets around here pedestrian streets… that would be amazing!
Anyhow, tomorrow we’re finally heading up into the mountains for four days! It looks like there’s a lot of snow up there still, but we’ve got our crampons and ice axes and we’ll see how it goes…
On Friday my fiancé Claudia and I are heading out on a big adventure to South America for three months! We’re flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we’ll hang out for a few days, then we head west to the city of Mendoza, which lies at the foot of the high Andes near Aconcagua (the tallest mountain in the western hemisphere!) Mendoza is one of my favorite cities and I look forward to relaxing there for a while, sampling the local Malbecs, and scoping out the situation in the mountains. Early October is springtime there so I’m not sure how much snow will be in the mountains still. I’m assuming quite a bit.
Anyhow, the rough plan is to work our way down the Andes, on both the Argentine and Chilean sides, doing as much trekking as possible along the way, eventually ending up in Ushuaia at the tip of Patagonia by January. I am excited to visit a bunch of new places, including the volcanoes of the Lakes District, the lush forests of the Aisén region of Chile, and who knows what else. And of course we’ll have to return to the popular and spectacular mountain ranges of Torres del Paine and El Chaltén (above).
I’ll be posting regularly on my blog while we’re traveling down there, so be sure to check back often. You can also follow me on Facebook!
Today we took advantage of the glorious blue sky weather by hiking up to Ice Lakes Basin to check out the autumn colors up on the tundra there. It was a nice mellow day in the mountains, and a fitting farewell hike to Colorado! (More on that in the next post!)
I had a chuckle when we spotted some ski tracks in the snowfield at upper left in the top photo. Hardcore!
We just got back home to Colorado after a quick road trip to San Diego to visit my relatives and friends. Instead of doing the drive in one grueling day like I used to do, we took our time and broke up the drive into three days each way, giving us the opportunity to see some of the sights in the desert along the way. Here are a few photos from the trip! Above is Cedar Breaks National Monument, where we camped the first night.
On our way back we drove through Zion National Park, stopping to hike up to Angels Landing. This was a questionable decision for a September Saturday, as the [paved!] trail was clogged with people and felt like a Disneyland attraction. But regardless of the crowds, it is always a spectacular hike with killer views of Zion canyon!
We continued to Capitol Reef National Park and the next day we did a wonderful hike down Chimney Rock Canyon, where sheer sandstone walls tower overhead.
Last week we did a 7-day loop trek in and around the Needle Mountains, the rugged heart of the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. As usual, we had some crazy weather during our trip, including lots of lightning, thunder, and several stunning sunrises and sunsets. See lots more photos below! Continue reading “Weminuche High Loop”→
On our way back from the Sawtooths, on Tuesday Claudia and I did a day hike up Mount Timpanogos, the most famous and beloved mountain in the Wasatch Range in Utah. We started from the Aspen Grove trailhead, and our leisurely tour took us 9 hours up and down.
Looking up at Timp – the summit shelter is just barely visible at top right.
For many years I’ve been longing to visit the Sawtooth Range in Idaho, and last week I finally got the chance! We went on a 7-day backpacking trek through the range, starting from Pettit Lake and ending at Redfish Lake, taking a few detours along the way.
The Sawtooths did not disappoint, with their seemingly endless supply of emerald lakes surrounded by jagged granite spires.
Last week we spent 6 days backpacking around the famous Maroon Bells in the Elk Mountains of Colorado. The photos pretty much tell the story so I won’t say too much else except that it was another great trek in Colorado!
Last week Claudia and I went on a 5-day backpacking loop in the Uncompahgre Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains east of Ouray. Our route circumnavigated the fourteeners Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre Peaks and took us through a paradise of expansive green tundra, wildflowers, and peaks.